SH'MU'EL BET (2 Samuel) Chapter 19

The corresponding letter to this chapter is Koph –holiness; cycles of growth; summery and judgment at the end of the cycle of life.

In the Jewish Bible the 19th chapter starts out with this verse recording David’s grieving for Avshalom. In the modern translations it is the last verse in chapter 18.

Sh'mu'el Bet 18:33 And the king was deeply moved and went up to the chamber over the gate and wept. And thus he said as he walked, "O my son Avshalom, my son, my son Avshalom! Would I had died instead of you, O Avshalom, my son, my son!"

Sh'mu'el Bet 19:1-4 Then it was told Yo’av, "Look, the king is weeping and mourns for Avshalom." And the victory that day was turned to mourning for all the people, for the people heard it said that day, "The king is grieved for his son." So the people went by stealth into the city that day, as people who are humiliated steal away when they flee in battle. And the king covered his face and cried out with a loud voice, "O my son Avshalom, O Avshalom, my son, my son!"

Even though Avshalom had betrayed David, David still loved his son. His love for him was unconditional. It is a sad thing to watch your own child go astray. We are completely helpless to control their lives. We can only pray for them and that they make the right choices in life. If they do wrong we hurt with them because they are flesh of our flesh. This is the kind of love the L-rd G-d has for us in our walk with Him. When we go astray it hurts Him but His love is still there for us ready to forgive our wrongs if we only return to Him.

Sh'mu'el Bet 19:5-7 Then Yo’av came into the house to the king and said, "Today you have covered with shame the faces of all your servants, who today have saved your life and the lives of your sons and daughters, the lives of your wives, and the lives of your concubines, by loving those who hate you, and by hating those who love you. For you have shown today that princes and servants are nothing to you; for I know this day that if Avshalom were alive and all of us were dead today, then you would be pleased. Now therefore arise, go out and speak kindly to your servants, for I swear by the L-RD, if you do not go out, surely not a man will pass the night with you, and this will be worse for you than all the evil that has come upon you from your youth until now."

David cared more about Avshalom than he did about himself or anyone else. A king cannot neglect those who serve in his kingdom. David was human and had a reason for grief but he still had sons and daughters who loyal and served him that he should not neglect. Yeshua understood sometimes those that are closest to you in the flesh are sometimes actually the ones who will betray you.

Luke 12:51-53 "Do you suppose that I came to grant peace on earth? I tell you, no, but rather division; for from now on five members in one household will be divided, three against two, and two against three. "They will be divided, father against son, and son against father; mother against daughter, and daughter against mother; mother-in-law against daughter-in-law, and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law."

Yeshua understood that even though flesh can be a strong bond in his kingdom all servants in his spiritual kingdom were family and should be treated as such.

Luke 8:19-21And His mother and brothers came to Him, and they were unable to get to Him because of the crowd. And it was reported to Him, "Your mother and Your brothers are standing outside, wishing to see You." But He answered and said to them, "My mother and My brothers are these who hear the word of G-d and do it."

Sh'mu'el Bet 19:8-13 So the king arose and sat in the gate. When they told all the people, saying, "Look, the king is sitting in the gate," then all the people came before the king. Now Israel had fled, each to his tent. And all the people were quarreling throughout all the tribes of Israel, saying, "The king delivered us from the hand of our enemies and saved us from the hand of the P’lishtim, but now he has fled out of the land from Avshalom. However, Avshalom, whom we anointed over us, has died in battle. Now then, why are you silent about bringing the king back?" Then King David sent to Tzadok and Evyatar the priests, saying, "Speak to the elders of Y’hudah, saying, 'Why are you the last to bring the king back to his house, since the word of all Israel has come to the king, even to his house? 'You are my brothers; you are my bone and my flesh. Why then should you be the last to bring back the king?' "And say to Amasa, 'Are you not my bone and my flesh? May G-d do so to me, and more also, if you will not be commander of the army before me continually in place of Yo’av.'"

David’s sitting at the gate showed the people his was back on the job and ready to resume his role as the king of Israel.

David enlisted the help of the priests to restore himself to the throne. He appointed Amasa as the commander of the army in order to get the tribe of Y’hudah behind him again.

Sh'mu'el Bet 19:14-23 Thus he turned the hearts of all the men of Y’hudah as one man, so that they sent word to the king, saying, "Return, you and all your servants." The king then returned and came as far as the Yarden. And Y’hudah came to Gilgal in order to go to meet the king, to bring the king across the Yarden. Then Shim’i the son of Gera, the Binyamini who was from Bachurim, hurried and came down with the men of Y’hudah to meet King David. And there were a thousand men of Binyamin with him, with Tziva the servant of the house of Sh’aul, and his fifteen sons and his twenty servants with him; and they rushed to the Yarden before the king. Then they kept crossing the ford to bring over the king's household, and to do what was good in his sight. And Shim’i the son of Gera fell down before the king as he was about to cross the Yarden. So he said to the king, "Let not my lord consider me guilty, nor remember what your servant did wrong on the day when my lord the king came out from Yerushalayim, so that the king should take it to heart. For your servant knows that I have sinned; therefore, look I have come today, the first of all the house of Yosef to go down to meet my lord the king." But Avishai the son of Tz’ruyah answered and said, "Should not Shim’i be put to death for this, because he cursed the L-rd's anointed?" David then said, "What have I to do with you, O sons of Tz’ruyah, that you should this day be an adversary to me? Should any man be put to death in Israel today? For do I not know that I am king over Israel today?" And the king said to Shim’i, "You shall not die." Thus the king swore to him.

Shim’I begged for mercy from David for bashing cursing the king. David spared his life temporarily. On his death bed David ordered his punishment.

M’lakhim Alef (1 Kings) 2:8-9 And behold, there is with you Shimei the son of Gera the Benjamite, of Bahurim; now it was he who cursed me with a violent curse on the day I went to Mahanaim. But when he came down to me at the Jordan, I swore to him by the L-RD, saying, 'I will not put you to death with the sword.' "Now therefore, do not let him go unpunished, for you are a wise man; and you will know what you ought to do to him, and you will bring his gray hair down to Sheol with blood."

Sh'mu'el Bet 19:24-30 Then M’fivoshet the son of Sh’aul came down to meet the king; and he had neither cared for his feet, nor trimmed his mustache, nor washed his clothes, from the day the king departed until the day he came home in peace. And it was when he came from Yerushalayim to meet the king, that the king said to him, "Why did you not go with me, M’fivoshet?" So he answered, "O my lord, the king, my servant deceived me; for your servant said, 'I will saddle a donkey for myself that I may ride on it and go with the king,' because your servant is lame. Moreover, he has slandered your servant to my lord the king; but my lord the king is like the angel of G-d, therefore do what is good in your sight. For all my father's household was nothing but dead men before my lord the king; yet you set your servant among those who ate at your own table. What right do I have yet that I should complain anymore to the king?" So the king said to him, "Why do you still speak of your affairs? I have decided, 'You and Tziva shall divide the land.'" And M’fivoshet said to the king, "Let him even take it all, since my lord the king has come safely to his own house."

Notice the way M’fivoshet is described. He has been in mourning since David left the throne.

Initially David had given Sh’auls property to M’fivoshet. When Tziva deceived David, he made a hasty decision and took all that M’fivoshet had and gave it to Tziva. Now he is uncertain of who was telling the truth and he divides the estate between M’fivoshet and Tziva.

Sh'mu'el Bet 19:31-40 Now Barzillai the Gileadite had come down from Roglim; and he went on to the Yarden with the king to escort him over the Yarden. Now Barzillai was very old, being eighty years old; and he had sustained the king while he stayed at Machanayim, for he was a very great man. And the king said to Barzillai, "You cross over with me and I will sustain you in Yerushalayim with me." But Barzillai said to the king, "How long have I yet to live, that I should go up with the king to Yerushalayim? "I am now eighty years old. Can I distinguish between good and bad? Or can your servant taste what I eat or what I drink? Or can I hear anymore the voice of singing men and women? Why then should your servant be an added burden to my lord the king? "Your servant would merely cross over the Yarden with the king. Why should the king compensate me with this reward? "Please let your servant return, that I may die in my own city near the grave of my father and my mother. However, here is your servant Khimham, let him cross over with my lord the king, and do for him what is good in your sight." And the king answered, "Khimham shall cross over with me, and I will do for him what is good in your sight; and whatever you require of me, I will do for you." All the people crossed over the Yarden and the king crossed too. The king then kissed Barzillai and blessed him, and he returned to his place. Now the king went on to Gilgal, and Khimham went on with him; and all the people of Y’hudah and also half the people of Israel accompanied the king.

Khimham appears to be a relative of Barzillai, possibly his son.

Sh'mu'el Bet 19:41-43 And look, all the men of Israel came to the king and said to the king, "Why had our brothers the men of Y’hudah stolen you away, and brought the king and his household and all David's men with him over the Yarden?" Then all the men of Y’hudah answered the men of Israel, "Because the king is a close relative to us. Why then are you angry about this matter? Have we eaten at all at the king's expense, or has anything been taken for us?" But the men of Israel answered the men of Y’hudah and said, "We have ten parts in the king, therefore we also have more claim on David than you. Why then did you treat us with contempt? Was it not our advice first to bring back our king?" Yet the words of the men of Y’hudah were harsher than the words of the men of Israel.

David’s tribe, Y’hudah, escorted him back across the Yarden River. The other tribes complained that Y’hudah had stolen him away and they had more right to David than Y’hudah did. It is too bad that a day that should have been a day a celebration becomes a day of contention and bickering among brothers.

David again becomes a king the people look to.